Monday, April 11, 2016
What to Expect at Your Car Accident Deposition
As a plaintiff, you will have to endure the deposition phase of your claim. Depositions are nothing to be afraid of, but you must be prepared in order for the deposition to work in your favor. A good personal injury attorney will adequately prepare you for your deposition, and even do trial runs with you, so that you know what to expect. If you are just starting the claim process, you may be curious about how depositions work and their role in personal injury cases.
What is a Deposition?
Depositions are question and answer sessions, but with the other side’s attorney. The attorney will ask questions and record your answers (usually via video). Your attorney is still present at the exchange and can ensure that you do not answer any questions that are self-incriminating or that will harm your case. A court reporter or stenographer is also present to document the deposition.
What is the Purpose of a Deposition?
After you have filed your personal injury claim, the other side will have the right to find out what information you have about the accident, as well as your account of the incident. They are entitled to discover all facts, which includes interviewing you officially.
What Will Be Asked at a Deposition?
A defense attorney in a personal injury claim will ask the plaintiff multiple questions that cover areas including:
- General background information – such as your name, address, date of birth, etc.
- Information about your physical and mental health, prior to the injury. They will ask about previous injuries and verify if those injuries have been aggravated or reappearing during the current injury.
- Information about the incident itself. This will include the date and time of the accident, what you were doing before the accident, what you did after the accident, and if you spoke with following the accident.
- Information regarding your medical treatments and physical condition after the accident. They may ask about prescriptions, long-term treatments, your prognosis, treatments that you have had in the past, and any treatments that you are currently undergoing.
- Information about how the injury has affected your life. Has it affected your ability to work? How is your social life? Has it affected your personal and professional relationships? They may ask what daily tasks are now difficult after the injury, to see how much the injury has truly affected your lifestyle.
A Few Things to Remember
Before you step into your deposition, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind:
- The deposition is question and answer; not a conversation. You can take your time between the question and answers, and you can clarify questions with your attorney before answering.
- An answer should only be a sentence long. You don’t need to elaborate unless asked.
- You need to make a good impression – especially if your deposition is videotaped. That means showing up in a clean, professional outfit and making sure that you are well-groomed.
- Give honest, accurate answers to the other attorney. Never misrepresent the facts or exaggerate – these can harm your case.
- Pay attention to your own needs. If you need to take a mental break, want a glass of water or need to take medication, let your attorney know and he or she can request a break.
Hire a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney for Your Deposition
Before you file your claim, hire a personal injury attorney who has a proven record of accomplishment for handling similar claims. The expert team at Malman Law can assist you with your case. Whether you have suffered from a slip and fall, car accident, or other injury, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by filling out our online contact form with your legal questions.